Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Saving for {College}

I have 4 amazing and smart kids, who all have high ambitions of colleges and universities. When we think of how much it's going to cost, we about pass out in fear and shock!! 

Then we heard about the {529 Plan}:

The 529 Plan here is also known as the Arizona Family College Savings Program and is sponsored by the State of Arizona. It is a tax advantage investment program that aims to aid and give families an opportunity to financially save while affording the costs of a higher education.

There are various investment choices offered from opening a 529 account and a handful of benefits included. Benefits include an exemption of qualified distributions from federal and state taxes if applied toward college expenses, assets will not be counted toward financial awards, tax deductibles will be high as $750 per taxpayer and $1500 per married couples, accounts will grow on a regular tax-deferred basis, the versatility and flexibility of applying the plan at various accredited institutions in the U.S. and much more.

Along with the program, ACPE has continuously strived to positively encourage and improve postsecondary education for Arizonans ever since. With these upcoming celebratory 529 Plan events, ACPE hopes to reach out and inform the public on the importance of how helpful and useful a college savings program could be.

Further information about the Arizona Family College Savings Program and the upcoming events this month can be found at www.az529.gov.
{taken from http://www.arizonafoothillsmagazine.com/features/features/2814-celebrating-arizonas-529-savings-plan.html} 

There is hope!! Really this is the only plan that really makes any sense {and dollars}. 

Common Myths about the 529 Plan:
1. I can't afford to save for my child's education. 
    Fact: The Arizona 529 Plan offers a plan that starts as low at $15 a month

2. Arizona Doesn't offer a tax incentive for contributions to a 529 Plan.
   Fact: Arizona residents may take advantage of the Arizona tax incentive

3. Saving in a 529 Plan will affect my child's eligibility to receive financial aid. 
   Fact: Since the 529 Plan is in the parents name, your child will not be affected

4. What happens if my child decides to not go to college? 
  Fact: You can switch beneficiaries, or you can withrdraw at a 10% IRS penalty and subject to taxes on earnings only. 

Further information about the Arizona Family College Savings Program and the upcoming events this month can be found at www.az529.gov.

Dis­clo­sure:  This post is spon­sored as part of the #AZ529 Col­lege Sav­ings Month Blog Tour. How­ever, all opin­ions & expe­ri­ences are are entirely my own. As a par­ent, I think know­ing options about sav­ing for col­lege is impor­tant! 


Friday, October 26, 2012

{DIY} Crochet Bow Pattern

Free Crochet Bow Pattern

Beautiful Crochet Bow Pattern

  • h hook
  • alligator clip
  • Hot Glue Gun  
Stitches Used: 
  • Ch- Chain
  • sc - single crochet
  • HDC - half double crochet
1. chain 11
2. hdc in 2nd ch from hook, and in each st {9st}
3-20. Repeat 2
21. tie off 
22. sew the ends together to create a ring
23. using the tails tie a tight knot in the center to create the bow shape. cut off ends
24.  chain 35
25. loop the chain around the center, and tie in the back. 
26. glue or sew the alligator clip, barrette, or brooch pin to the back, making sure to seal the knots with the glue. 

And you are all done!! 
I hope you enjoy this pattern!! You are free to sell the bows you make from this pattern, as long as you link back to this post as to where the pattern came from. This pattern is not to be resold. Thank you!! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{caged}Consider it Joy??

Consider it {PURE JOY} my bothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, 
not lacking anything.
James 1:2-4

I don't know about you but I know for me there are times when I've read, or heard that verse and thought seriously... pure joy huh?? Right... 
Growing up, I had always heard the stories about how the faithful were chosen to do the Lord's work. Mary was my hero, she was faithful and God chose her to be the mother of Jesus!! David was so faithful he went from being a Shepard to a conqueror, and then King!! How exciting! I wanted to be chosen to do great things for God. I also firmly believed that the more faithful you were, that nothing bad could or would ever happen to you.  Boy oh boy was I wrong.. on both counts!! 
I was raped and molested for almost 3 years by 2 people I thought I could trust, in the first {caged} post, I talked more about what had happened to me as a preteen. {it's still a bit hard to talk about so please bear with me}

By 14, I was rebellious, angry and confused. I did not understand how my loving God had allowed this to happen to me. I didn't understand what I did wrong, and I didn't understand that the Lord was there the whole time, ready for me to rely on him for my healing. Moving forward to 16, instead of finding out why, or how these things happened to me,  I let my anger towards the Lord fester, and became bitter. I thought if he didn't care about what happened to me, what did what I do matter, and if it did matter I didn't care what he thought I felt he had abandoned me long ago. 

My husband and I started going to church when we were dating and living together, we went because we wanted the kids to go. After a few months, there was a sermon on finding Joy in the pain. Pshhh Joy in Pain??
Yeah right... there is NO joy in being a survivor of Abuse. 
 And we know that all things work together for {GOOD} to those who love God and are called according to {HIS} purpose. Romans 8:28

Take a moment to let that sink in. Think to a moment in your life you felt was senseless. Have you forgiven either the person or yourself?? Then you learned the lesson of forgiveness. Have you been able to identify with another person going through something similar?? Then the Lord used you to help another person. Has your past made you stronger? Then you learned how to persevere. Have you been blessed by the help of others? Has your past enabled you to make a better future??

There is good in the bad. It's all in perspective. It's so hard to see past our pain, until we realize there is hope and healing in it. No matter how much it hurts, healing is that much better. I know that if it weren't for the Lord, my Grandparents, my husband,and some great people the Lord sent my way I would not know what true healing is. It's being at peace with the Lord's plan. Knowing that there is a reason for everything, and it is all apart of the Lords good and perfect plan. Knowing that the Lord has never left your side, and when you go through the hard times, it's because HE is preparing you to do HIS work. 
I know that it's easier said than done.. I've been there, and I still have struggles with it when I am knee deep in trials. I just have to remind myself to pray and seek God's wisdom in the circumstances. That is what I pray for you all too, that we can find peace and joy in all that has happened or will happen in our life.Jesus said it himself: 
I have told you these things so that {IN ME} you may have peace, in this world you WILL have trouble.. BUT TAKE HEART!! I have overcome the world! John 16:33

What more could we really ask for?? 

I would love to hear your stories of overcoming and finding joy... I would love to hear your stories of searching for your joy.. I would just love to hear from you... 
please leave me a comment below


Monday, October 15, 2012

Bows are {Purdy}

Bows are amazing!! 
I love the classic look of them. Here  are some of the amazing bow ideas out there!!

Do you have any bows or bow ideas?? I would love to see them!!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

{Caged} Forgiveness isn't for Wimps

About 4 years ago, I got a phone call from my mother. I rolled my eyes and thought really what does she want? ugh....  I didn't really want to talk to her at the moment, but I answered the phone.. and she had been crying. She wanted to apologize for "Everything I've put you through"  Which in itself is a loaded sentence, since everything meant a lot of hurts... but I forgave her...
 I love my mom, I have forgiven her. I still forgive her, even when she doesn't ask for it. The guilt that she felt that caused her to call me, is the guilt she still carries. She can't seem to find a way to forgive herself. It's heartbreaking for me to see her feel all this guilt. I have reminded her many times of my love and forgiveness, I've reminded her of Jesus's sacrifice that shows his love, grace and mercy for us. She knows it in her head... she needs to feel it in her heart. This is something I pray for every day.

Here is what I've learned from all of this:

Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.{ Colossians 3:13 GWT}

Man those words ring loudly to me.... 
Forgiveness is something I struggle with.  My struggles are for those offenses without apology.  It's so easy to forgive when those in our lives apologize. BUT it happens that you will let a friend know what happened and how it hurt you, and you don't receive the apology or reaction you {feel} you deserve??  Well that is when we get angry, and more hurt isn't it?? I've learned that if I share my hurt with the one who hurts me, that is when the forgiveness needs to happen. 
We need to let it go from there. I need to let it go from there.  It is SO vital to our walk with the Lord to forgive.
 My wise and wonderful husband reminds me of this perspective.. 
The Lord sent his SON to die for our sins, to SHOW that he forgives all. And if he can forgive ALL of the sins we commit against him, repeatedly and daily, who are we to withhold forgiveness from anyone? 
And in forgiving others... we are free! 

This is a statement that can be trusted and deserves complete acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and I am the foremost sinner. 
{Timothy 1:15 GWT}
There it is... that verse there.  Now I'm not judging Paul by his previous actions before he was transformed.We all have a past from before we were transformed by God's gracious gift. Paul however had killed Christ Followers. And this is who the Lord hand picked and chose to spread his Gospel, and to help us understand how to live a life in the Word, and understand that Jesus IS the covenant. WOW the Lord picked HIM???? Yes he did. He did it to show just what forgiveness looks like. Paul recognized what a gift it is to accept the grace of God, to accept his forgiveness. The way you see yourself is not an accurate picture of what Jesus has done for you. When you deny yourself forgiveness, after Jesus has already forgiven you, what are you really telling Jesus? And would you say it to his face?? Would you tell Jesus that HIS sacrifice wasn't enough? Would you say that you don't believe his grace is enough?? 

Forgiveness is a gift, given freely with out strings. It is to be accepted with joy and gratitude not hesitation, disbelief and guilt. Without it you will be hindered and held back from freely and confidently living out who you really are in Christ! You will be hesitant and feel unworthy to approach your Heavenly Father, because you feel you're a failure and unworthy... this is why it is so important to forgive yourself. 
You are a new creature in Christ, don't cage yourself by withholding forgiveness.. life in confidence that {ALL} of your past is paid in full. 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
{Romans 8:1 nkjv} 

I know today's post was a bit longer, and I thank you all for reading!! Please post your thoughts below. 

{love always, Becky}


And the {winner} is......


{Jasanna Czellar}

congrats!! You won a Purdy Things

Headband Style Ear Warmer with 2 clips!!! 

 How a winner is picked:   

Using a Random Number Generator from www.random.org 

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-10-09 13:10:28 UTC

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Free {Crochet Pattern} Holly Berries

Holly Berries are soo festive!! So when thinking of Christmas this year, I immediately thought of these and knew I had to make them!! So I played around and this is the end result!! I just love how it came out and I had to share my pattern with you all!! 

{Holly Berries}
h hook
yarn needle
hot glue gun 

worsted weight yarn {I prefer Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand} 

Holly leaves {make 2}
use h hook
  1. ch 15
  2. 1 sc in next 2 st
  3. 1 hdc in next 2 st
  4. 1 dc in next 2 st
  5. 1 tc in next 2 st
  6. 1 dc in next 2 st
  7. 1 hdc in next 2 st
  8. 1 sc in next 2 st
  9. tie off weave in ends.

Holly Berries {make 3}
  1. ch 4, sl st to join and create a ring
  2. ch 3, 11 dc in ring, sl st to join
  3. tie off weave in ends.

  • Sew or hot glue to ends of the leaves together
  • arrange the berries as you would like and sew or hot glue them together,
  • sew or hot glue the berries to the base of the leaves where they are attached.
  • Now you can add an alligator clip, barrette, or whatever you would like. 

    Add them to a headband, or hat, or scarf for more fun!! Pattern for the Headband is available on {Craftsy} and in the {Pattern Circle} 

    Happy Crocheting!! 

Pin It

As with all Purdy Things free patterns, please feel free to share this link, and you are welcome to sell items made with this pattern you must link back to where you found this pattern. You are not allowed to resell this pattern, you are now allowed to redistribute this pattern for monetary gain, and if you use this pattern as an accent for another article you must credit the original author and link back to this pattern. Do not copy and paste into your own pattern. The patterns I make available are from my imagination and creativity. They are made with my skill and time, and out of my passion to create. I ask that you respect it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

{Caged} Where is my Value?

If only it were so easy to always believe that our value was far above rubies and pearls.. even though the Bible clearly states that we are so much more valuable than we will ever be able to realize. 

That is a feeling that plagues me.  
Though I had some amazing people in my life who always love me unconditionally, I have struggled with the feeling that I'm not a person of value. 

When I was about 2 my parents got divorced, my father was a very violent man, my mom was lucky to get out alive. My father walked away from me, without batting an eye. I could never understand how someone could just not want to be apart of their kids life. It just never made sense to me. When I reconnected with him at 17, I had hoped that maybe he would see what he had missed. It never happened. A couple years after we reconnected, he was killed while trying to attack my step-mother. It's been a long road to resolve the feelings of worthlessness, that came from that. 

 This list of verses has always helped me when I feel the sting of worthlessness from my father... because he isn't the father that really matters to me. My Heavenly Father is. I've found that when I put my worth in people, or myself, that is when I feel that I don't have value. Our value is in the Lord. It's when we remember what he did for us on the cross that we can be free to know that we have worth far more precious than we could ever imagine! Because the Lord doesn't make mistakes. We are made for a purpose, and the Lord has great plans for us all! That is what I try to remember when I start to feel that I have to value, that the Lord has plans for me and I am not here without a purpose.

I do have many positive influences in my life as well... and these influences shape me to be who I am, and have given me the gift of unconditional love and value. I want to be sure to honor them too.. my life wouldn't be what it is without these people too!!

I was {VERY} blessed to have my Papa. 

This man is the purest example of what unconditional love is. I spent most of my time with my grandparents growing up. They are the biggest part of who I am. My papa, this man has never lost faith in me, he's never stopped loving me, he's never stopped praying for me, he's never stopped believing in me, he's never stopped understanding me, he's never stopped trusting in me. He has been the example of Christ to me. His unconditional love for me is something that I will cherish forever. 

This is the final thought... when the thoughts of worthlessness hit you, and you think you don't have value, remember {YOU} are the chosen daughter of the King of Kings, and He loves you more than you could EVER imagine! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

October {GIVEAWAY} : Purdy Things Head Wrap

 I {love} the thrill of giveaways!!! It's always so exciting to find something new, or to be able to win something from a beloved shop!!! 

www.PurdyThings.com is giving away one of the newest designs on 
{October 8th 2012}
This head warmer is amazing, it's super soft, super warm, and super cute!! A perfect accessory for any wardrobe. The flowers are on clips so you can mix and match to go with any outfit. You can chose the Holly Berry clip for the Holidays, and then go with the flower clips for the rest of the cooler months. 

{The Ways To Enter}  
~please post a separate comment for each entry~
1. Post a comment here with your email address. {so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner} 
2. Like Purdy Things on {Facebook} if you are already a fan you can comment that you were already a fan, if you are a new fan please show some love on the fan page!!
3. Follow Purdy Things on {Pinterest} if you already follow again you can just comment that you already follow on pinterest.
4. Sign up for the Purdy Things {Newsletter} and same as the other two, if you already are a subscriber you can still enter. 

Good luck my Purdies!!!! 
I have a strong urge to have a Hunger Games moment... 
so here it is... 
May the odds be ever in your Favor!! xoxo